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Displaying items by tag: Fundraising

Sea swimmer and experienced kayaker Kevin O’Sullivan has presented Skerries RNLI with a donation of €1,200 from monies raised while kayaking solo around the island of Ireland.

Kevin’s three-year venture started in 2016 and was spurred by his love of kayaking.

“After over 35 years of kayaking, looming large in front of me was my own personal edge,” he explains of his decision to embark on the solo circumnavigation.

“I had been operating as a volunteer kayak instructor with Skerries Sea Scouts for seven years. Being inspired by the courage of the many junior paddlers within their ranks, I decided it was high time I ventured outside my own comfort zone as this mission materialised out of the faintest whisper of a long-held dream I had thought about for years.”

During the planning of the trip, Kevin said he was aware of the work done by volunteers at his local RNLI station in Skerries, and Medicins Sans Frontiers in the Mediterranean.

“I decided to put a charity element to my venture. Monies raised were split down the middle and shared.

“My local involvement with The Frosties, a year-round sea swim group, gave me first-hand knowledge of the very critical service the RNLI offers to all water users. We have availed of their service on a few occasions.

“I am not alone in complimenting their non-judgemental approach to any rescue they carry out. It is wonderful to give something back to this great organisation.’

Kevin’s circumnavigation was all the more remarkable in that he achieved it in his spare time, committing to the adventure for almost three years.

“I would kayak a stretch over a few days, camping as I went, depositing my kayak with a helpful soul, whilst returning home to family and work for a period.

Kevin O’Sullivan using his paddle to pass the ‘Bag of Swag’ while maintaining social distancing (Photo: RNLI/Gerry Canning)Kevin O’Sullivan using his paddle to pass the ‘Bag of Swag’ while maintaining social distancing | Photo: RNLI/Gerry Canning

“When the next favourable weather window opened coincident with my time off work, I would return to my boat continuing along the coast, all the while eating away at the total distance of 1,750 km to put me back into Skerries where I started.”

First circumnavigated in 1978 by a three-man team, around 100 have now completed the trip, mostly in small groups.

“Only 25 of these have been solo. Mick O’Meara, from Waterford, holds the record at 23 days, and was my own personal inspiration for the trip.”

Kevin says he wasn’t sure he could “stomach” the challenge due to his propensity for sea sickness, but the story of Mick O’Meara kept his spirits up.

“Thankfully I was graced with good weather, great support and my body held out so that after three summers, my kayak found itself being slid back onto its rack after a 903-day absence.”

Kevin recalled of his achievement: “I camped, B&Bed, was put up by strangers, slept in adventure centres, friends’ houses and hostels. I used planes, trains and automobiles to get to and from the remotest corners of this island to complete my paddling project.

“Once, in fact, I walked two-and-a-half kilometres on the Hook Peninsula to get to my B&B from the beach I landed on, back in November 2017. The proprietor, who very kindly reopened his B&B for me, stood shocked when I rolled my 18ft long kayak up his driveway rather than atop my car.”

Gerry Canning, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, commended Kevin for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the station.

“This was a phenomenal effort with an amazing amount raised for Skerries RNLI and we want to say a huge thank you to Kevin. With so many fundraising events cancelled this year, donations like this are even more crucial.

“We can really feel Kevin’s pride for what he has achieved and his enthusiasm for helping the charities he donated to. These funds are very much appreciated by all here at Skerries and will help us to continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in Kayaking

Four Dun Laoghaire-Based 29er sailors have raised more than €7,700 for the RNLI in their virtual cycling challenge.

Last weekend, the quartet of Max Goodbody, Nathan van Steenberge, Sam Ledoux and Tim Norwood — along with their coach Thomas Chaix — took on the epic round-Ireland route on stationary bakes in their own homes.

In just over a week the team have covered a total of 1,700km — and that’s all the more impressive considering they’ve been fitting in biking sessions around their school work.

Along the way they’ve been joined on various legs by fellow 29er team member Leah Rickard, Finn sailor Oisin McClelland, Laser Radial challenger Aoife Hopkins and Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy.

But as they enter the home stretch and the remaining 360km to Dun Laoghaire tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday 19 May), the pressure will be on as they will be joined by Dublin-based former pro cyclist and current super coach Matteo Cigala.

Cigala’s 20-year professional career included junior participation in the World Championship representing Italy and stand-out performances for many years in Ireland’s An Post Ras.

As a coach, he supported Greg Swinand in his two successful Irish hour record efforts. He is the founder and head coach of Cigala Cycling and current head of athlete performance at Ireland’s only professional cycling team, EvoPro Racing.

For more on the team’s endeavour and how to support their efforts, see the GoFundMe page HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Four Dun Laoghaire-based 29er sailors and their coach have started their own ‘virtual cycling’ challenge in aid of the RNLI.

Max Goodbody, Nathan van Steenberge, Sam Ledoux and Tim Norwood, along with coach Thomas Chaix, have taken on the epic route via every lighthouse around the island of Ireland — but covering the distance on stationary bikes in their own homes.

The team aims to complete the 2,000km route — with 14,000 metres of climbing — in 11 days while raising funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Since starting on Saturday 9 May, they have already covered the distance from Dun Laoghaire to West Cork — and that’s around their home school commitments, too.

Already exceeding their initial target of €2,000, the team have so far raised over €5,000 to keep the RNLI afloat in uncertain waters.

And as they go on they will be joined by an Olympian and former Olympian for various parts of the ride — with rumours of some other big names set to tag along.

“All of us are sailors and appreciate the work of the RNLI, and understand how dangerous and unforgiving the sea can be,” the team said.

“We are thankful for the bravery of the lifeboat volunteers who go out and risk their lives for others in all weathers. It would mean a lot to us if you could support us in this project.”

For more on their endeavour and how to support the team, see the GoFundMe page HERE.

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

Viking Marine has teamed up with athletic sportswear brand Swimzi in the global effort to help fight Covid-19 and to support our frontline workers at the HSE.

You can show your support by purchasing a charity ‘Let’s BEAT this’ swim cap. All profits will go locally to St Micheal’s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire and to Beaumont Hospital, where the daughter Viking Marine MD Ian O’Meara is currently part of the medical team on the frontline.

As of lunchtime today, Sunday 26 April, already a tenth of the modest target of 300 caps have been purchased.

And be sure to join in the #SwimziCapChallenge and post video tagging Viking Marine’s Facebook and Instagram pages of your attempts to break the record of putting on 17 swim caps in 30 seconds!

Irish Surfing has launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase a live scoring system for competitive events.

The national governing body for surfing in Ireland is already nearly a third of the way towards the €6,000 goal for the priority display system.

Junior and senior competitors, spectators and race officials alike would benefit from this effort to professionalise its delivery of events, Irish Surfing says.

All funds raised will be administered through Irish Surfing’s Sligo base with a view to purchasing and training staff with using the system over the coming months.

See more about the fundraising campaign on GoFundMe HERE.

Published in Surfing

Bella Irvine has retired from the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild after 38 years service, since first volunteering for the Shetland Islands RNLI unit in 1982.

At a gathering at RNLI Lerwick lifeboat station to mark the occasion last Tuesday evening (4 February), members of the guild and current lifeboat crew members paid tribute to Bella’s contribution on the committee.

After her first 10 years, Bella was then treasurer for 23 years, from 1992 until 2015. Since then, she has continued to support fundraising events and activities, including volunteering in the RNLI Lerwick shop.

In recognition of her long service, Bella received a RNLI Gold Badge and Bar in 2016.

The guild raises funds for the RNLI towards the operational costs of the Lerwick lifeboat in Scotland's far nothern isles, which relies entirely on public donations.

‘She’s one in a million and will always be welcome in our shop, where she will always find the kettle on’

Throughout the year, the guild organises many events, including the popular Lifeboat Open Day in midsummer and the Lifeboat Ball later in the year. Committee members also attend country shows during the summer months to generate income and to raise the profile of the RNLI.

In 2019, the Lerwick Lifeboat Guild, including funds raised by the men’s committee, raised a total of over £44,000.

Rhoda Watt, joint chair of the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild and current treasurer, said: “Bella has been absolutely dedicated beyond measure and will be missed on our committee. She’s one in a million and will always be welcome in our shop, where she will always find the kettle on.”

Malcolm Craigie, RNLI Lerwick lifeboat operations manager, said: “The RNLI relies on dedicated fundraisers across the country to provide equipment and training for our volunteer crews, so that we’re ready to respond 24 hours a day.

“On behalf of the lifeboat crew, we’re hugely grateful to Bella for everything she has done for the Lerwick Lifeboat Guild over the last 38 years.”

Published in Scottish Waters

The Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit is one of two charities that will be supported in an upcoming table quiz and raffle in Dublin city centre.

Richard Cruise, Conor Galvin and David Cotter are organising the event to raise funds for the IUSRU as well as Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann, the organisation of national ex-service personnel — two charities who do great work in assisting others in times of distress.

Entry is €40 per teams of four and all are welcome to join the quiz at the Teachers’ Club on 36 Parnell Square West on Thursday 2 April, starting at 7.30pm.

Poster for the Charity Table Quiz on Thursday 2 April at the Teacher’s Club in Dublin

Published in News Update

Volunteer lifeboat crews from Crosshaven and Ballycotton RNLI in Cork will share their own stories of how they got involved with the lifesaving charity on TV for RTÉ One’s Nationwide this coming Wednesday 18 December.

And the two stations will also carry out a joint exercise to recover an unconscious casualty from the water, as they appeal to the public to support the RNLI’s ‘Perfect Storm’ fundraising campaign.

In Crosshaven, local business owners Aoife Dinan, of Rejuvenate beauty salon, and Denis Cronin of the popular Cronin’s Bar both volunteer for the Cork Harbour village’s lifeboat crew.

Denis was a keen surfer before he volunteered for the lifeboat and now answers the pager by jumping on his pushbike and heading to the station a couple of minutes away.

Aoife and her partner lost a close friend to drowning and she is now an active member of the lifeboat crew, often running from her business to make callouts at the station.

Best friends Molly Murphy and Caoimhe Foster joined the lifeboat together when they were in fifth year in school. They speak about what it was like to rush out of the classroom and down to the lifeboat station for a callout and to leave their schoolmates behind.

Crosshaven RNLI volunteers and best friends Molly and Caoimhe face the RTÉ Nationwide camera | Photo: RNLI/Niamh StephensonCrosshaven RNLI volunteers and best friends Molly and Caoimhe face the RTÉ Nationwide camera | Photo: RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

Ballycotton RNLI crew member Alan Cott lost his brother Glynn when the Maggie B sank in 2006. He is very proud of his involvement with the lifeboat and is honouring the memory of his brother in the work he does to save lives at sea.

Speaking about the programme and the launch of the Perfect Storm appeal by the RNLI, area lifesaving manager Brian O’Driscoll said: “Our lifeboat crew are what is best in the RNLI. These men and women give up their time to train and launch lifeboats in all weathers and to all types of situations.

“Our thanks to the Nationwide team for visiting two of our Cork lifeboat stations and speaking to our volunteer lifeboat crew about why they do it and what they get out of it.

“Many people don’t realise that the RNLI is a charity and we depend on the generosity of the public to continue with our work saving lives at sea.

“Aoife, Denis, Alan, Molly and Caoimhe give their time and their passion to the RNLI and in return they get the training, skills and equipment to be able to help those in trouble at sea. We are very grateful for the support of the public and we don’t take it for granted.”

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm

Published in Maritime TV

Tomorrow at noon (Sunday 15 December) Scuba divers dressed in Santa suits will be ready to dive into the sea water off Sandycove for the annual Santa Scuba Dive.

This unique Christmas event has raised over €12,000 for the RNLI since it was started in 2014 by Karen Kenny of the Dublin University Sub Aqua Club.

Divers will enter the water at 1pm, and spectators will also see the local D-class lifeboat and Howth Coast Guard RIB and a flyby from the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter, weather and operations permitting.

For more see the event page on Facebook and the fundraising page on JustGiving.

Published in Dublin Bay

A group of seven men from the North Coast hatched a novel way to carry out some fundraising for the Portrush and Islay RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews recently.

As a group of keen sailors and avid supporters of the RNLI and the Scottish islands, they wanted to marry the two passions together and have some fun along the way.

The team decided to row to Islay to recreate a journey made over the generations using only manpower to raise money for the lifeboats.

The team was fortunate to be able to borrow ‘Home to Portrush’, the famous local boat that had crossed the Atlantic in record time in February 2018. Their challenge was to visit all the coastal distilleries on Islay and collect some whiskey from each one.

Ashley Moore, one of the crew, said: “We left from Ballintoy at 3am in idyllic conditions in order to reach Port Ellen and not be swept around the headland as the tide turned.

“Thankfully we made it in nine-and-a-half hours and over the next three days went on to visit Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Coal Ila, Bunnahabhain, Bowmore and Bruichladdich, collecting whisky bottles along the way.

“We were blown away by the warmth of the welcome across Islay and the distilleries — we were given many offers of food and accommodation and each distillery presented us with a bottle of whisky and a stave from one of their barrels to allow us to create the Islay Sea Collection.”

On returning home, team member and local architect Graeme Montgomery set out to design and create a unique cask to display the bottles of whisky, with the source of each stave marked.

‘This is a really exciting and novel way to raise funds for the two stations’

Bids are now being accepted until Sunday 17 November at just-whisky.co.uk for this ‘one of a kind’ whisky collection — and sponsors, including Coleraine software company Spatialest, have already pledged £2,000.

To register to bid you will have to pay £5 but this will be donated to RNLI. During registration, under box number 2 will see a box asking you to leave a message — in this box you must type in RNLI BID to ensure that the £5 registration fee comes to Portrush and Islay RNLI.

Portrush lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said: “This is a really exciting and novel way to raise funds for the two stations. We often have to work with Islay, and this is a great way to work with one of our neighbours and local supporters to raise funds for the RNLI.”

Ashley Moore added: “This was a really fun way to see the Scottish islands in a different way while helping to raise funds to support the work of the RNLI – and to enjoy some exceptional whisky!

“As sea lovers each one of our team never takes for granted the exceptional and brave work of the lifeboat crews and we are so grateful to know they are there whenever needed.”

Published in Scottish Waters
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Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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